Tag Archives: Flash! Friday

Red Froth

She looked down at the ticket in her hand.

The rain beat down, drumming a tattoo on the windows, and she understood why, really, she did.

But he had to understand too.

She wasn’t finished making him understand.

“So, Hong Kong – nice this time of year.”

He nodded, whimpering through the gag – it was crusted with his snot – he must have been having trouble breathing by now.

Good.

“Shame it’s monsoon season.”

Panic flitted across his eyes. It wasn’t the same anymore. The great game had changed, what with outsourcing and the lowest common denominator. College kids and tech nerds.

She punched him, unexpectedly, let him drop to the floor.

He struggled again against the ropes that bound him to the chair, but she was listening to the voice in her ear.

“Can’t you hurry it up? It’s pouring out here.” She chanced a look out the window, he was still there, the only homeless man on the street, seemingly muttering to himself in the rain. She wondered where he got the little dog from – but realised that she probably didn’t want to know.

“So. Hong Kong. Why?”

His eyes rolled back in his head, and red froth erupted beneath the gag.

She needed someone else to answer her questions.

 


 

 

Written for this week’s Flash! Friday writing challenge.

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Promised Land

Caution: Radiation Controlled Area. Creative Commons 2.0 photo by Oleg.

The door groaned closed, and Brother Ponder groaned also, dropping onto one arthritic knee before it. He shivered beneath his cloak, and ran gnarled fingers over the rusted hinges, whispering his solemn thanks.

For each drop of the sacred ointment he chanted prayers and blessings, his fingers tracing delicate ruins as he massaged the oil into the metal. This door had kept them safe for so long, through careful attention and the proper ritual. His father had taught him the words and the motions, that had been passed down the generations. Keep the faith, say the right words, sing the right songs and the door would hold.

He whispered his thanks, and moved on to the next doorway.

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The Magi

Abandoned boy. Photo courtesy of Toni Frissell.

They surf the tides of history, washed ashore, this time, on a sea of red and black and white, washed ashore on the promise of the Master Race.

They feed on blood, on war, on terror.

They feed.

Vienna, 1913. A young man, here, chest decorated with a cross of iron.

An artist, failing.

Spite and anger well up in his chest, the promise of war, soon to be unleashed.

He speaks in huddled whispers, his voice growing, changing. The art of the liar, the orator’s gift.

A putsch in the beer-halls, a night of long knives, blood-stained.

Crystals shatter, the world is doomed.

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Quiet!

The monastery cast a long shadow across the grounds, a long shadow over my life, an even longer one since. That broken-down stone finger dragging at the sky, pointing accusatorily on high. Nameless grave-stones, too long abused by the ravaging of time sat, nestled in immaculate lawns – the lawns not forgotten. The bodies long gone the way of the flesh.

Gone, dissolved into nothingness.

From ashes to ashes, from dust to dust.

In God we trust.

He hath abandoned me.

Their bodies are gone but still they wait out eternity, those middle-class monastics buried just beyond the chapel’s fallen walls. I dare not tread in their sanctuary, dare not burst through from my world of prophets and madmen – I dare not interrupt their penance.

My freedom lies within those walls, above that emerald sea of consecrated ground.

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